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What advice would you give for safe driving?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 20, 2007

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Photo of Dee Krogman

“Don’t use a cell phone, and leave the stereo off.”

Photo of Bryan Miller

“Pay attention, watch out for the other people on the road and minimize distractions.”

Photo of Angel Ramskill

“I’m in driver’s ed, so I should know this. Drive cautiously, especially in high-traffic areas like downtown, and stay off of your cell phone.”

Photo of Trent Santee

“I would just say don’t drink and drive. The worst mistakes you can make come from not having control.”

Comments

Kat Christian 7 years, 6 months ago

Pay attention contantly scan your eyes in all directions stay OFF the cell phone refresh your memory of driving rules, and be courteous and aware of other drivers.

Bill Chapman 7 years, 6 months ago

Real simple:

Concentrate ALL attention on the road, the other cars, and 10 feet to either side of the road. USE TURN SIGNALS!!!! and obey the vehicle laws! Ignore the cell phone, your kids, your friends, the radio/CD player, and anyone else in the car.

I ride a bicycle a lot in town and I ride on the sidewalks because I no longer trust people driving cars. I have been hit a total of 8 times over 20 years and would have been hit at least another 15 times if I didn't pay attention to what the driver was doing in the car (other than driving). Examples:

Talking on the cell phone Talking to someone in the car Messing with the CD/Radio Messing with kids in the car Shaving Putting on make-up Reading the newspaper/paperwork Doing a headbanger impression while driving Eating Putting clothes on/off Trying to light cigarette/cigar Receiving oral sex Trying to shine a portable spotlight in peoples' eyes

coneflower 7 years, 6 months ago

Put the cell phones away. You can pull over and return that call in 5 minutes.

preebo 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm with Dee, get off the damn cell phones or... get Bluetooth. Either way you'll look like an idiot but at least you won't hurt anyone else.

juscin3 7 years, 6 months ago

Watch out for the cars in the other lanes when wanting to get in another lane. I was about clipped on the passenger side with a Hummer and he just kept on moving over and didn't bother looking. UGH! I hate when people don't look when gettin on the highway! I shouldn't of slowed down....He could have paid for my car and then some...lol JUST KIDDING!

jonas 7 years, 6 months ago

I agree with the cell phones, but I think I drive worse when I don't have a radio, because my mind drifts off a whole lot easier. Mostly it's just common sense, pay attention to what you're doing.

trinity 7 years, 6 months ago

steer clear of soccer moms in suv's that are a)too big for them to handle safely and b)are not very responsive as far as handling in heavy traffic. my gods i've nearly been squished numerous times by these types of gals driving the behemoths! my best bet is that they've NEVER driven something that big that has 4-wheel drive, then get one of these big ol' yukons or excursions or whatever&try to navigate 'em much like their ol' honda accords or something.

lol rant over, apologies to soccer moms everywhere; the errant ones, you know who you are! :)

trinity 7 years, 6 months ago

and may i add, ottr, the OLD drivers; there are some around these parts that are truly a hazard, accidents waiting to happen, etc. i feel for seniors deeply; but, when you have one toodling down a highway that's been labeled "death highway" for a reason-at 20, 30 miles UNDER the speed limit, veering right then jerking vehicle(which is likely too large for 'em to handle safely anyway, even if they can see over the steering wheel) back to the left-that oughtn't be happening. i hate as much as anybody the notion of taking mom or pop's car away from 'em; but i'd rather do that&have 'em mad at me, then having to get that knock on the door from a trooper or the sheriff telling me that there's been a horrific accident.

sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

Make sure the pool is at least 12 feet deep. Never jump into murky water. Make sure both hands are up to protect the head. Do not over-rotate! Smacking into water can really...wha? DRiving? Oh! Nevermind.

MeeMa8 7 years, 6 months ago

Watch out for people on bicycles. They never follow the rules of the road!

Linda Endicott 7 years, 6 months ago

Pay attention.

Play by the rules. If you speed and don't use your turn signals, you have no reason to gripe about others who do it.

And as for those turn signals...I don't care if there are people behind you honking their horns...DON'T believe a turn signal until you actually see them begin to turn...

Flap Doodle 7 years, 6 months ago

Having an expensive car does not mean you don't have to obey traffic laws. The public streets are not the place to recreate your favorite scenes from the Fast & Furious movies.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

Lose the cell phone while driving!

I've been almost nuked more than once by a person with a cell phone to their ear. This is absolutely the worst when the students come back in the fall.

Crossfire 7 years, 6 months ago

Drive fast and make the other guy think he is gonna die.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

If someone signals that they want to change lanes into your lane, let them in.

It doesn't cost you any money to make a space to let a guy change into your lane. This is how people drive in California. It works. It's always been a pleasure to drive the freeways there because of this one custom. (Unfortunately so many newcomers to California means not everyone follows this custom anymore.)

Lawrence has the worst drivers.

lounger 7 years, 6 months ago

All of the above is grand advice but dont forget to relax a little!

sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm going to get all anecdotal here. I'm a little bit amused at all the "stay off the cell phone" comments because I wasn't on my cell phone for any of my accidents. (I think I've been in six or seven accidents. But those are the in the past; my last accident was a year and a half ago, and it was on an icy morning when no one could stay on the road.) I think it's easy to say drop the cell phone, and it might be good advice for a number of people. But I don't think it's the most effective advice for everyone; for some, "pay attention" isn't necessarily the same as "lose the cell phone."

However, I do think it's always a bad idea to have really emotional conversations while driving.

Oh, and as far as the question goes, I'd say have some courtesy. Don't drive like you're the only important person on the road.

jonas 7 years, 6 months ago

"offtotheright (Anonymous) says:

Stay clear of YOUNG drivers!"

Damned kids, always on my lawn. Hey! Get off my lawn, damned kids!!

Peaty Romano 7 years, 6 months ago

Quote: Lawrence has the worst drivers

You have obviously never driven in Boston :)

I say keep up with traffic on the highway (the far left lane should be for passing and not camping out, it forces people to pass on the right which is dangerous. Let people in when possible at a merge, Don't tailgate! Lots of people drive SUVs and the stopping distance on those are very long compared to most cars. Signal your intentions and please turn your lights on when it's raining. I'm amazed at how many people do not do this. Rule of thumb is wipers on headlamps on.

Get a hands free headset for your cell phone. While I've seen studies show the risk is not reduced with hands free at least you can use your signal. I see a lot of people with the cell phone stuck to their left ear changing lanes and not using a signal because they do not have a free hand.

camper 7 years, 6 months ago

Drive according to current conditions. This may mean adjusting your speed down when it is raining, snowing, and while in heavier than normal traffic.

Whenever possible, try to drive at a safe and steady speed. People who drive 85 while constantly applying brakes and switching lanes are unwittingly making traffic proceed much slower. Overall traffic flow improves if you drive at safe speeds and kep it in the same lane as much as possible.

H_Lecter 7 years, 6 months ago

Put a "Student Driver" Bumper sticker on your car so your kids won't want to borrow it. Everyone else stays clear.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 6 months ago

R_I, between the furious little cars & the SUV's on huge wheels & the super-gigantic-sky-high pickups, it ain't safe to be on the streets these days.

gogoplata 7 years, 6 months ago

When someone tries to merge into your lane, speed up so they can't.
If they get in there before you can speed up, tailgate them until you can pass them and then hit the brakes.

When you are turning left and see someone speeding up so you have to wait, act like you are turning and give them a good scare. Or even better if there is enough time go ahead and pull in front of them and stop so they have to stop.

If you catch someone dozing at a red light, honk at them and watch as they start to drive into the intersection.

Pass on the shoulder or in the opposite lanes when neccesary because of slow drivers in the fast lane.

Don't be afraid to use your horn.

CindiCat 7 years, 6 months ago

I think everyone pretty much covered all bases on this question.

My favorites.....follow, lead or move out of the way. I "taught" my 3 daughters...."honk-n-flip". Seriously, I have had to do that a time or two.

Seriously, the pet peeves......NOT using turn signal.....or turn signal is ON for a few miles.

I'm sorry but, the "Handicap" plates scare the beejesus outta me. I have NO idea just what their handicap is and I try to get away from them ASAP.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

Pay attention and no more cell phones while driving!!!

Peaty Romano 7 years, 6 months ago

I know a sure fire way to make people drive with more caution. Replace the drivers side airbag with a 6" pointy spike, that should do it ;) Oh yea, disable the ABS too...

gogoplata 7 years, 6 months ago

You can learn all you need to know about driving from the Dukes of Hazzard and Smokey and the Bandit.

sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

Cindi, you just highlighted one reason I decided not to get the handicap plate. I'd rather not endure more assumptions than I already do.

That and I can't take a license plate with me when I'm riding in other cars. My friends thoroughly enjoy getting good parking spots when I ride with them.

beatrice 7 years, 6 months ago

Don't try to read the roofs when driving by houses.

buffalo_star 7 years, 6 months ago

let's see i think the answer is drive aggressively?!?!

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years, 6 months ago

I haven't read any of the comments. I hope this hasn't been said already. My advice: Love the idiot. Be the (safe) clown.

roger_o_thornhill 7 years, 6 months ago

Driving tests every time you renew your license.

budwhysir 7 years, 6 months ago

Oh this one is easy, any concerns or questions should be directed to 411. Always ask if you are unsure. Talking on the cell phone makes driving so much safer. And also, if there is a car in front of you, by all means, make sure you leave no distance between your front bumper and thier back bumper.

As for stop lights, always remember, these lights fall under the most important rule of all. "THERE FOR THE OTHER GUY" you never have to worry about watching for yellow or red lights. They do not apply to most drivers here in lawrence.

ryanjasondesch 7 years, 6 months ago

Drop the cell phone??? I was driving the speed limit the other day, talking on my cell, approaching a 4-way intersection that I've driven through a thousand times in which my lane and the opposing lane have no stop sign but the cross-lanes do, and some dumb b*tch who was not on a cell phone pulls out directly in front of me from the stop sign. Had I been speeding I would have T-boned her and possibly killed her (side note: I never speed, and I have a clean driving record to prove it). Who's fault would that have been? (Before anyone jumps on me for this: Talking on cell phone, not illegal. Failure to stop/failure to yield to right-of-way, definitely illegal.)

Bottom line: Don't be a freaking idiot.

And Mrs. Krogman: Are you kidding me? No stereo??? I'll politely disagree with you as I'm blasting my new White Stripes album for the next two weeks.

sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

sgt, would you take me to an amusement park? (I hope you like roller coasters!)

sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

Sue: yeah, sure, let's go. Although I would probably just sit in the shade sucking down unhealthy amusement park snacks.

Actually, when I was little, my mom always preferred to take me to the airport because it helped the parking situation so much. It was funny. Now I make sure to take me wherever I go so I can get a good parking spot. Although you'd be surprised at how many times I've had trouble finding an open handicap spot. That rule about only handicap spots being open when you're in a hurry doesn't hold true when you have a permit for the spots.

denak 7 years, 6 months ago

Use your turn signals and HANG UP THE PHONE.

sunflower_sue 7 years, 6 months ago

sgt, we used to force our oldest bro. to come along to the amusement park. We LOVED never having to wait in lines...and that option to ride again was the bomb! Our bro would be ready to puke and when they asked him if he wanted to go again, we'd just bark out "of course he does" before he got a word in edge wise. hee hee. He stopped going with us for some odd reason. :(

pelliott 7 years, 6 months ago

Learn what the term tail gating means, then don't do it.

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 6 months ago

Hey, I've got something original. Don't use your cell phone!

camper 7 years, 6 months ago

Ever notice the people who flash there brights if they feel you are not going fast enough? I guess these folks are either famous or they are going somewhere important.

JSDAD 7 years, 6 months ago

ride the underused bus thingy and leave me some room to swerve randomly from lane to lane

angel 7 years, 6 months ago

Now in Spain (in Europe too, but specially in Spain) there is a heavy disccussion about safe drive. The public administration want to reduce the death on the road and make lot of advertising promos. One of the most popular is the promo what says: "No podemos conducir por ti", "We cant drive for you"...

erod0723 7 years, 6 months ago

Drive the speed limit. I am convinced that stupid slow drivers are what make the road dangerous for the rest of us.

Bill Chapman 7 years, 6 months ago

I have been known to ride my bicycle in the middle of winter on frozen, iced over roads - before they get scraped clean by the city. I know of at least two other bicyclists that also ride on roads in the winter. If I can control a bicycle (that's' a TWO [2] wheeled vehicle!) on an icy road without killing me or hitting someone else, why in the H3LL can't people driving a four wheeled vehicle learn to drive in weather >other< than the nice sunny day they want to drive in?

mom_of_three 7 years, 6 months ago

Watch out for those bicycles! The ones I have been seeing lately are riding in the road, but choose not to obey traffic laws.

camper 7 years, 6 months ago

The "stupid slow drivers" don't worry me as much as the "stupid fast" drivers.

mistygreen 7 years, 6 months ago

I would be happy if people would just drive the speed limit. Is it only me that seems to always get behind the slow drivers that refuse to drive the speed limit? For example, I was driving west on 23rd last evening between Harper and Haskell, and the speed limit is 45 mph, and the old fella was only going 30 mph. It's enough to cause an accident!!!!

james bush 7 years, 6 months ago

Beware of women drivers on cell phones, especially blondes at intersections.

camper 7 years, 6 months ago

Anybody know what the minimum speed on Haskell is?

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